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Feds Fine Man $10,000 for Going to Church
NewsMax ^ | Feb. 10, 2004 | Carl Limbacher

Posted on 02/10/2004 11:50:41 AM PST by WinOne4TheGipper

The federal government is fining a resident of Maine $10,000 for going to church.

Richard Albert, 52, of the remote northern hamlet of Township 15 Range 15, said the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection recently notified him of two $5,000 fines for twice crossing from Quebec into Maine on a Sunday, when the border station is closed.

Albert's home is 30 yards from the Canadian border, beside the U.S. Customs office. The church is on Quebec's side of the border, which means he has to cross the boundary illegally to attend services.

He "said he has been crossing the U.S.-Canada border at his own discretion for more than 40 years. But border security has been tightened since last May when the Bureau of Customs eliminated its Form 1 program," the Associated Press reported today.

"That program allowed preapproved people to cross the border when certain border stations, including the one between Township 15 Range 15 and St. Pamphile, Quebec, were closed."

'Nightmare' Caused by 'Big Brother'

He said: "It was never an issue to cross before May 1, 2003, when they put a gate on the boundary and locked it up. This situation, it's like having a nightmare, and you feel that Big Brother is really controlling you, and you can do nothing about it."

The dozen or so people who live in the settlement rely on St. Pamphile for more than religion. It has the area's only stores, medical facility and other comforts of civilization.

The U.S. border station is open only from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The next closest crossing is 200 miles away by dirt logging roads through Fort Kent. Canada gives U.S. residents passes to cross at any time.

"We're supposed to stay here and not move? There's nothing here on the American side," Albert said. "We feel like we're being treated like animals here, At 9 p.m. we're locked in the barns, and at 6 a.m. we're let out to pasture."

No doubt he'd have better luck if he moved to a Mexican border town and waded the Rio Grande daily. Hey, and that way he could get "free" health care in U.S. hospitals at taxpayers' expense.


TOPICS: Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: border; canada; church; fine; maine; misleading; xheadline

1 posted on 02/10/2004 11:50:43 AM PST by WinOne4TheGipper
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To: will1776; biblewonk
Are we supposed to feel sorry for this guy? Maybe some sort of outrage on his behalf? I can't.

The headline is certainly a piece o' work.

2 posted on 02/10/2004 11:59:49 AM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer
Canada - yawwwwwwning . . .
3 posted on 02/10/2004 12:03:24 PM PST by Happy2BMe (U.S. borders - Controlled by CORRUPT Politicians and Slave-Labor Employers)
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To: newgeezer
No kidding, can't spin that headline much more.
4 posted on 02/10/2004 12:09:07 PM PST by stuartcr
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To: will1776
which means he has to cross the boundary illegally to attend services.



+++


They did not fine him for going to church. They fined him for crossing the border illegally.

Thats what should be done in every case of illegal entry - no matter for what reason, or how small the breach is.

5 posted on 02/10/2004 12:12:38 PM PST by Iron Matron (Give me time, I'll think of something)
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To: will1776
Completely misleading headline. The Feds did not fine him from going to church; they fined him for illegally crossing the border.

We better get armed troops up there ASAP to stop these illegal incursions!
6 posted on 02/10/2004 12:12:56 PM PST by You Dirty Rats
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To: will1776
I think it's kind of stupid that he's been fined. Is he a terr'ist?
7 posted on 02/10/2004 12:14:22 PM PST by petitfour
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To: newgeezer
I agree. The headline is way off base.

8 posted on 02/10/2004 12:16:05 PM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: stuartcr
Truly. Limbacher really had to stretch for that one. I can just see his gloating, smarmy smile...........heheheh.
9 posted on 02/10/2004 12:17:31 PM PST by EggsAckley (..................**AMEND** the Fourteenth Amendment......(There, is THAT better?).................)
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To: Iron Matron
They did not fine him for going to church. They fined him for crossing the border illegally.

Exactly. Amazing how Newsmax, a continual complainer about leftist media spin, is now doing the same thing but in the other direction. The headline is bogus.

That said, fining the guy is stupid and petty in light of the fact that he's been doing it for years. They should just issue him a weekend pass or something. Some common sense needs to apply up in these border towns where often the country line goes through people's living rooms. My bro-in-law works at a factory whose front door is in the US and whose back entrance is in Canada. They seem to deal with it ok there.

LQ

10 posted on 02/10/2004 12:18:19 PM PST by LizardQueen
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To: Iron Matron
He must be of the wrong ethnicity. If he were of the right "group" they would allow him to cross without blinking an eye. Maybe even offer him some sort of amnesty.
11 posted on 02/10/2004 12:19:57 PM PST by ican'tbelieveit
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To: will1776
Just tell them "no hable Ingles" and they will let him go.
12 posted on 02/10/2004 12:20:09 PM PST by ikka
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To: will1776
The headline is waqck, but the last sentence sums it real nicely: No doubt he'd have better luck if he moved to a Mexican border town and waded the Rio Grande daily. Hey, and that way he could get "free" health care in U.S. hospitals at taxpayers' expense.

Cross from Canada "illegally" to go to church, get fined. Cross from Mexico illegally to do God knows what, get free things at my expense.

I wonder how they came up with $5,000 per incident? How does he owe that now?

13 posted on 02/10/2004 12:22:51 PM PST by freedomluvr1778
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To: will1776
First, as you're probably already aware, the headline in this story is extremely misleading. The man is not being fined for "going to church," he's being fined for crossing the border illegally.

Now, having gotten that out of my system, the story could have included more information about how he is crossing the border. Is the gate just left open with no one manning it? Is he having to drive off the paved road to get around the locked gate? The story doesn't make it clear. If he's simply driving through an open gate with no signs warning not to cross etc., then I might have some considerable sympathy for his plight. But if he's driving off the paved road, cutting the lock on the gate, etc., that's a different matter.

Whoever the incompetent editor at Newsmax is that allowed this one-sided, incomplete hit piece to appear on their web site should be fired.

14 posted on 02/10/2004 12:23:32 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: Iron Matron
Give me a break. This 52 year old man was going to Church. This can't be one of those dumb-a$$ed no exception policies.
15 posted on 02/10/2004 12:27:41 PM PST by vpintheak (Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain!)
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To: vpintheak
This can't be one of those dumb-a$$ed no exception policies.

Wanna bet?

Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence

16 posted on 02/10/2004 12:31:23 PM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: ican'tbelieveit; LizardQueen
. . .He must be of the wrong ethnicity. . .

I didn't even think of that! But you could be on to something - a hispanic or arab would have no trouble at all. Plus, who has the money to pay a $10,000.00 fine? The white guy of course! /sarcasm


. . .Some common sense needs to apply up in these border towns where often the country line goes through people's living rooms. . .



Like in Texas? Hipanics crossing the borders trash our farms and ranches, leaving it strewn with filth and human waste, thumbing their collective noses at border controL; maybe it's different near the Canadian border. I am for extremely tight border control - even guarding it militarily, any illegals should be fined and deported.
17 posted on 02/10/2004 12:31:47 PM PST by Iron Matron (Give me time, I'll think of something)
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To: will1776
What's alarming about this article isn't the misleading headline or the fines: it's the sheer and utter comical "security" we have at the border.

What are we going to do when (not if) Muhammad bin Bomber just drives around these checkpoints during the off-hours? Send the fine to his Imam?
18 posted on 02/10/2004 12:32:34 PM PST by Prime Choice (I'm pro-choice. I just think the "choice" should be made *before* having sex.)
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To: Johnny_Cipher
It appears he's just driving around the gate.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=573&e=13&u=/nm/crime_canada_border_dc
19 posted on 02/10/2004 12:34:09 PM PST by Prime Choice (I'm pro-choice. I just think the "choice" should be made *before* having sex.)
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To: Johnny_Cipher
Now, having gotten that out of my system, the story could have included more information about how he is crossing the border.

Most places along the Canada-US frontier, there really is NO border. We're talking 3000+ miles of frontier, much of which is sparsely populated. People come and go as they please.

20 posted on 02/10/2004 12:38:53 PM PST by Modernman ("When you want to fool the world, tell the truth." -Otto von Bismarck)
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To: will1776
Ineffingcredible!
21 posted on 02/10/2004 12:43:44 PM PST by Barnacle (Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.)
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To: vpintheak
Give me a break. This 52 year old man was going to Church. This can't be one of those dumb-a$$ed no exception policies.


OK, OK,! But only on the Canadian border. Mexico must be closed up!
22 posted on 02/10/2004 12:45:43 PM PST by Iron Matron (Give me time, I'll think of something)
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To: Modernman
We're talking 3000+ miles of frontier, much of which is sparsely populated. People come and go as they please.

So he's just driving across on a road with apparently no gate or sign that he's driving into Canada? If that's true, then how was he busted for "doing the deed" in the first place? How did anybody know about it?

23 posted on 02/10/2004 12:55:56 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: Prime Choice
Interesting article - thanks for the link. It makes it much more clear about what actually happened than the Newsmax article does.
24 posted on 02/10/2004 1:04:35 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: will1776
Aren't these officials violating the First Amendment of the Consitution, the one on religion? What are the names of these officials? Where is the ACLU on this issue?
25 posted on 02/10/2004 1:06:34 PM PST by henderson field
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To: Modernman
During hunting season, people cross and re-cross that border routinely out in the woods. Let's not get too anal, boys. Let's not pay attention to the wrong things. Is this supposed to atone for inviting arab terrorists in before 9/11 and ushering them to their seats in the 727 classroom? By the way, which of the terrorists was fined $10,000 for crossing the border?
26 posted on 02/10/2004 1:12:09 PM PST by henderson field
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To: henderson field
Aren't these officials violating the First Amendment of the Consitution, the one on religion?

No. Would the First Amendment protect me if I stole a car to get to church or jimmied the church door in order to get in?

27 posted on 02/10/2004 1:17:31 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: henderson field
By the way, which of the terrorists was fined $10,000 for crossing the border?

There was no $10,000 fine before 9/11; the new border security measures weren't in place before 9/11. Your question is illogical.

28 posted on 02/10/2004 1:20:13 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: Iron Matron
The Canadian border is pretty different - in most cases, the *locals* in the border towns on both sides have been pretty much free to come and go for years. It's been a tacit agreement, and for a long time in some of these places no one is real sure where the border even is. There's not the same trashing issue up here, not sure why - maybe since the 2 countries are more equal economically and socially there aren't the herds of illegals coming through.

I'm in favor of tight immigration, too, but the border security would be better served by chasing those who come into the country illegaly and keep going rather than harassing and fining the locals who've been wandering back and forth within a few miles of the line for years.

Half the roads don't even have guard posts on them, they just have a sign saying "if you're coming in please stop at the nearest Customs booth". It's on the honor system.

I remember coming back in once at a *manned* crossing (I live in Vermont) where the guards were fast asleep (this was pre-9/11). I stopped the car and waited. Then I waited more. Then I tapped the horn a few times. Nothing. So I got out and walked up to the building and rapped on the window. I looked in the window and both guys were tipped back in their chairs, snoozin. One finally woke up and came out, asked me a few cursory questions, then stumbled back into the building and I left.

LQ

29 posted on 02/10/2004 1:24:05 PM PST by LizardQueen
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To: Johnny_Cipher
There was no $10,000 fine before 9/11; the new border security measures weren't in place before 9/11. Your question is illogical.

You guys are a joke. Customs goes postal on some harmless old man and you get all orgasmic over it. Meanwhile, Customs routinely winks at illegal Muslims and Mexican criminals running drugs across the border. Catch a clue.

The quickest way to get in trouble in the southwest is to hinder one of those illegals in any way. But don't worry, Customs is diligently keeping WASPs out of the north.

30 posted on 02/10/2004 1:40:56 PM PST by hopespringseternal
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To: LizardQueen
I'm in favor of tight immigration, too, but the border security would be better served by chasing those who come into the country illegaly and keep going rather than harassing and fining the locals who've been wandering back and forth within a few miles of the line for years.


Funny how my own situation skewed my viewpoint, you are, of course, right.

31 posted on 02/10/2004 1:41:48 PM PST by Iron Matron (Give me time, I'll think of something)
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To: will1776
"He "said he has been crossing the U.S.-Canada border at his own discretion for more than 40 years. But border security has been tightened since last May when the Bureau of Customs eliminated its Form 1 program," the Associated Press reported today.

"That program allowed preapproved people to cross the border when certain border stations, including the one between Township 15 Range 15 and St. Pamphile, Quebec, were closed."

This looks like the unilaterail ending of an "Easement of Record". That's not legal. Nor is unilateral termination of an "Easement in Fact" legal.

He should win this one; with a "real estate lawyer".
32 posted on 02/10/2004 1:45:42 PM PST by PizzaDriver (an heinleinian/libertarian)
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To: will1776
The poor guy should have taken a lesson from the Bedside Baptists - stay home....
33 posted on 02/10/2004 1:54:38 PM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: hopespringseternal
You guys are a joke.

What "guys" would that be?

Customs goes postal on some harmless old man and you get all orgasmic over it.

I assure you, all the relevant portions of my anatomy are quite calm right now, and have been since before I first saw this ridiculous story.

Meanwhile, Customs routinely winks at illegal Muslims and Mexican criminals running drugs across the border. Catch a clue.

What does that have to do with the original poster's absurd observation that the 9/11 hijackers weren't assessed a $10,000 fine for crossing the border BEFORE they did their nefarious deeds?

The quickest way to get in trouble in the southwest is to hinder one of those illegals in any way. But don't worry, Customs is diligently keeping WASPs out of the north.

Completely irrelevant to this issue. Canada is not Mexico, and one old man bypassing a roadblock and getting fined for it is not the "illegal immigration" problem. If you want to whine about Mexican illegal immigration, there are plenty of threads you can pollute to do so.

34 posted on 02/10/2004 2:06:24 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: PizzaDriver
This looks like the unilateral ending of an "Easement of Record". That's not legal. Nor is unilateral termination of an "Easement in Fact" legal.

I was literally just thinking the very same thing. "Easement in Fact" is the reason that the management of some big hotel (I forget the name offhand but think it might be one of Donald Trump's properties) has to rope off one of its public areas for a few minutes every year. If they didn't, it would no longer be considered private property and would legally revert to public use.

35 posted on 02/10/2004 2:10:25 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Making hasenfeffer out of bunnyrabbits since 1980)
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To: will1776
Mr Bush, tear down this wall!
36 posted on 02/10/2004 3:24:24 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (It is always tempting to impute unlikely virtues to the cute)
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To: newgeezer
Are we supposed to feel sorry for this guy? Maybe some sort of outrage on his behalf? I can't.

The nearest manned checkpoint was 200 miles away. Are you suggesting that this guy should have driven an extra 800 miles round trip to comply with regs in attending church?

Especially given the extremely eager level of enforcement?

If there were guards who would actually try to stop people crossing, that might arguably serve some reasonable national interest. But if someone is entering with nefarious intent, merely having a camera that shows that they did so is going to be absolutely useless for actually catching them. And if the government isn't going to go after bad people, why go after anyone?

37 posted on 02/10/2004 7:17:15 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: supercat
"merely having a camera that shows that they did so is going to be absolutely useless for actually catching them"

Its ridiculous. All this talk about national ID cards, smart cards, Implantable microchips, etc.

Yet the borders are wide open so someone w/o or with an evil intent can just waltz across the border unimpeded.
Forget the smart cards and all the Big brotherism communistic approaches, Check everyone coming into this country. Diplomat as well as farm worker. Get rid of this insane diplomatic immunity.

"And if the government isn't going to go after bad people, why go after anyone?"

Exactly.

38 posted on 02/11/2004 7:46:09 AM PST by Mikey
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To: will1776
Can someone explain how millions of Mexicans can do this without being fined?
39 posted on 02/11/2004 1:15:15 PM PST by Djarum
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